The year to date has seen 42 initial public offerings globally by PE-backed companies, eclipsing the number of PE-backed IPOs in the first four months of 2013, when 26 such exits occurred. Preqin's Buyout Deals Analyst online service shows that in 2006, 41 initial offerings took place in the January to April period, but this volume has only since been matched in 2014. Other than 2008 and 2009, which saw lows of nine and four IPOs respectively in the January to April period, each year since 2007 has seen around 25 offerings in the first four months.
Of the 42 IPOs so far this year, 21 have been for companies based in North America, with 12 Europe-based and seven Asia-based companies having completed offerings. Companies operating in the consumer industry have seen the most IPOs, with 11 for this industry in 2014 to date, while the business services and industrials sectors have seen 10 offerings each.
In terms of the aggregate value of IPOs, 2014 again represents the most active January to April period of any year since 2006. The $19.6bn of IPOs globally this year to date is significantly higher than the January to April average for 2006 to 2013, which stands at $7.7bn. Only 2011 came close to having such a strong start for public offerings of private equity-backed firms, with $15.5bn of IPOs in the January to April period. With over 50 private equity-backed companies worldwide planning an imminent IPO, 2014 looks likely to register as one of the strongest years for IPO exits in recent history.